Welcoming in a new season can mean a fresh start that so many of us have been waiting for. This year, take on your spring cleaning in a whole new way with sustainability. Sustainable living is defined as “an individual’s attempt to reduce their consumption of the earth’s natural resources in order to reduce their carbon footprint, save resources, and produce less waste”. Through the years, sustainability has grown to be a part of the answer we have been looking for when combating the climate crisis. Taking action to live your life in a way more sustainable way will not only help improve the environment, but the role you play within it. Making lifestyle changes is not always easy, but it is the way of the future and the way we can guarantee one.
Making the switch to sustainability can be as easy as a house tour. Swapping common household items for alternative materials can help reduce your impact on the environment, and cost of living.
First, let’s start in the kitchen. At home, the kitchen is where plastic frequents the most. Thinking about the amount of plastic that goes into groceries, packaging, and cleaning, there are many easy changes that can be made toward sustainability. The key to reducing the amount of plastic you use daily is reusing what you already have. Cleaning old jars or containers, buying reusable plastic wrap (we recommend beeswax wraps), and keeping a canvas bag handy is always a good idea when creating a sustainable kitchen.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, try buying produce loose (or with a bag from home) and buy in bulk as well. Moving onto the bathroom, there are easy ways to make your daily pampering a whole lot greener. Swap out any old razors, toothbrushes, or cotton pads and invest in products that are made from reusable materials such as bamboo. Even cracking down to the products you use can be super helpful when it comes to sustainability. Take a moment to read the labels of your makeup, shampoo, conditioner and see exactly what is in these products and how they are being tested (the key is in cruelty free). Sustainability can also come into your daily wardrobe. Buying vintage pieces, thrifting, or even borrowing from friends are great ways to change the impact on the environment your clothes can make. Shopping in a capitalist society that changes clothing trends with every season, means promoting methods of fast fashion for clothes that will ultimately..end up in a landfill.
Another way to take action can come from your diet. Vegetarian and vegan diets are some of the most common, simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Meat and the agricultural industry are one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases of our time. The amount of land and water that is used to raise livestock for consumption also greatly impacts the planet (approximately 2,400 gallons of water and 10 pounds of grain for 1 pound of beef ). Making the switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet can seem overwhelming at first, but with the right tools, it is cost-saving, improves your overall health, and protects the well-being of animals. Growing your own garden, shopping locally, and eating seasonally are other ways to keep in mind how our diets can make our lives greener (literally).
Thinking about the necessary changes we need to make in order to help combat the climate crisis, there are other benefits as to why we should care about sustainability. Caring about the planet means caring about the people living on it too. Women have been proven to be more powerful consumers of products and (unfortunately) still seen to be responsible for carrying out domestic chores. This results in what has been called the “eco-gender gap”. Corporations will market “eco-friendly” products specifically towards women (menstrual products, cosmetics,etc) as well as common household items (ex.detergent) in an effort for us to feel better about buying what they’re selling. What we don’t realize is this also misinterpreting that living a sustainable life is only for women. Taking away the stereotypes of domestic roles, the stigma that portrays caring and neutering qualities as“feminine”, and educating others on the importance of sustainability at a generalized level is how we will reach more people to make these lifestyle changes. Living a sustainable life is now easier than ever, in a time where our planet is constantly changing, we need to be able to change with it. From your home, diet, shopping, and the choices you are actively making daily, keep our planet in the back of your mind. Sustainability, producing less waste, and shrinking your carbon footprint is how we will work together to tackle the climate crisis, and how you can make your life more green.